What was the time frame for constructing the Singapore merlion?

Travel Destinations

By Kristy Tolley

The Singapore Merlion

One of the most iconic symbols of Singapore is the Merlion, a mythical creature that has the head of a lion and the body of a fish. This statue has become a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of Singapore’s identity as a modern city-state. The Merlion stands at a height of 8.6 meters and is located at the Merlion Park in Marina Bay.

Historical Background of the Merlion

The Merlion was designed in 1964 by a local artist named Lim Nang Seng. The idea for the Merlion came from the then Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, who wanted a symbol that would represent Singapore’s identity as a port city. The name Merlion is a combination of the words "mer" (meaning sea) and "lion" (a symbol of Singapore’s heritage as a former Malay kingdom ruled by the "Lion City" of Singapura).

The Conceptualisation of the Merlion

The idea behind the Merlion was to create a unique symbol that would represent Singapore’s identity as a port city. The Merlion was designed to have the head of a lion, which symbolises strength and bravery, and the body of a fish, which represents Singapore’s history as a fishing village and its proximity to the sea. The Merlion was also designed to have a water fountain at its mouth, which symbolises Singapore’s status as a water-scarce nation.

Planning and Designing the Merlion

The planning and designing of the Merlion took several months. The initial design was created by Lim Nang Seng, who was commissioned by the Singapore Tourism Board to create a symbol that would represent the country. The design was then reviewed and refined by a team of engineers, architects, and artists.

The Construction of the Merlion

The Merlion was constructed in several stages. The first stage involved the creation of a small-scale model of the Merlion, which was used to test the design and ensure that it was structurally sound. The second stage involved the construction of the actual statue, which was made of reinforced concrete.

Time Frame for Building the Merlion

The construction of the Merlion took approximately two years, from 1971 to 1972. The statue was completed in time for the opening of the Singapore Tourism Board’s new headquarters in June 1972.

Challenges Faced During Construction

One of the biggest challenges faced during the construction of the Merlion was the design of the water fountain at the mouth of the statue. The fountain had to be designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and structurally sound, while also being able to withstand the strong winds and waves that are common in Marina Bay.

Completion and Unveiling of the Merlion

The Merlion was completed in June 1972 and was unveiled by the then Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew. The statue quickly became a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of Singapore’s identity as a modern city-state.

The Merlion’s Significance to Singapore

The Merlion is an important symbol of Singapore’s identity as a modern city-state. The statue represents Singapore’s history as a fishing village, its proximity to the sea, and its status as a water-scarce nation. The Merlion is also a symbol of Singapore’s strength and bravery, as represented by the lion’s head.

The Merlion’s Evolution Over the Years

Over the years, the Merlion has undergone several changes and renovations. In 2002, the statue was relocated to its current location at Merlion Park in Marina Bay. In 2009, the statue was given a new coat of paint and a new water pump system to improve its aesthetic appeal and functionality.

Conclusion: The Timeless Icon of Singapore

The Merlion is a timeless icon of Singapore, representing the country’s identity as a modern city-state and its history as a fishing village. The statue is a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of Singapore’s strength and bravery. Despite undergoing several changes and renovations over the years, the Merlion remains an enduring symbol of Singapore’s identity and heritage.

References and Further Readings

  • Singapore Merlion: History and Significance. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.littledayout.com/singapore-merlion-history-significance/
  • The Merlion. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.visitsingapore.com/see-do-singapore/iconic-landmarks/the-merlion/
  • Singapore Tourism Board. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.stb.gov.sg/
  • Lim, S. (1984). The Merlion: A Singapore Icon. Retrieved from https://www.singaporeheritage.org/the-merlion-a-singapore-icon/
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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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